The South Gippsland Shire Council has been dismissed following the passage of a Bill through the Victorian Parliament earlier last week, with an interim administrator to be appointed in short order.
The passage of the Bill comes weeks after a Commission of Inquiry into the troubled shire found systemic problems, concluding that the entire council be dismissed.
“This is not a decision we took lightly, the Commission of Inquiry highlighted serious failures at South Gippsland Shire Council which required dismissal,” State Local Government Minister Adem Somyurek said.
The Municipal Association of Victoria has taken a dim view of the dismissal, saying that while the shire was troubled, the wholesale dismissal of the council is ‘never the optimum solution.’
“However the situation at South Gippsland Shire has been difficult for some time, and has impeded the Council’s ability to work together and make decisions for and on behalf of their community,” MAV President Councillor Coral Ross said.
“We seek an assurance from the Minister for Local Government that due process was followed before reaching the dismissal decision.
“We will further be requesting a briefing from the Minister on the process to ensure local democracy is returned to the South Gippsland community in a timely manner.